299 user 95 critic

Howard the Duck (1986)

A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop a hellish alien invasion with the help of a nerdy scientist and a cute struggling female rock singer who fancies him.


Willard Huyck


Steve Gerber (Marvel comics character: Howard the Duck), Willard Huyck | 1 more credit »
1,725 ( 405)

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5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lea Thompson ... Beverly Switzler
Jeffrey Jones ... Dr. Walter Jenning
Tim Robbins ... Phil Blumburtt
Ed Gale ... Howard T. Duck
Chip Zien ... Howard T. Duck (voice)
Tim Rose ... Howard T. Duck
Steve Sleap Steve Sleap ... Howard T. Duck
Peter Baird Peter Baird ... Howard T. Duck
Mary Wells Mary Wells ... Howard T. Duck
Lisa Sturz Lisa Sturz ... Howard T. Duck
Jordan Prentice ... Howard T. Duck
Paul Guilfoyle ... Lieutenant Welker
Liz Sagal Liz Sagal ... Ronette, Cherry Bomb
Dominique Davalos ... Cal, Cherry Bomb
Holly Robinson Peete ... K.C., Cherry Bomb (as Holly Robinson)


A scientific experiment unknowingly brings extraterrestrial life forms to the Earth through a laser beam. First is the cigar smoking drake Howard from the duck's planet. A few kids try to keep him from the greedy scientists and help him back to his planet. But then a much less friendly being arrives through the beam... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


More adventure than humanly possible. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

1 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard See more »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,070,136, 3 August 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


WILHELM SCREAM: When Howard knocks the duck hunter out of his boat and shouts "Banzai!" See more »


Palm trees in Cleveland, Ohio. See more »


Beverly: Listen, would you like something to eat or drink? Milk? I could put it in a bowl?
Howard T. Duck: Doll, I don't drink out of bowls. Do you gotta beer?
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the UK two cuts totalling 46 secs were made to secure a PG rating. One is of Lea Thompson pulling a condom out of Howard's wallet, the other is of the bad guy sticking his tongue in a car cigarette lighter socket to recharge himself. The scene with the condom was left intact on the film's television premiere on the BBC. Although the cuts were fully restored in 2008 for the 12-rated Metrodome release the same company reissued the film later in the year with a PG certificate, and this release lost 52 secs of cuts to photo shots in a sex magazine and a scene where Howard works in a sleazy sauna parlour. See more »


References The China Syndrome (1979) See more »


Don't Turn Away
Written by Thomas Dolby and Allee Willis
Performed and Produced by Thomas Dolby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A lot better than I thought it was going to be.
15 March 2018 | by invisibleunicornninjaSee all my reviews

I was planning on just watching this movie as a joke, but then actually found myself enjoying this movie. Its not a cinematic masterpiece, but its definitely worth watching. I know that this is the type of movie that's bound to get some insults, but the amount of hatred towards it is honestly a bit surprising.

Sights and Sounds - The overall look of this movie is actually pretty decent, especially considering when it was made. The cinematography is just ok. Nothing spectacular, but certainly not boring. The audio was surprisingly good. I usually have a lot of trouble hearing what's being said in older movies, but I had no problems with this move. The costume (or puppet, I'm not entirely sure) for Howard is actually pretty good for the most part. Some of the effects are pretty bad, but for the time they're good.

Characters - The acting isn't that bad, but it isn't good by any means. Some of the line delivery is a bit iffy, but its not terrible. I mean, yes, some of the acting made me laugh through the "serious" parts, but its not as bad as it could be.

Tone - This movie is hilarious, especially when its not trying to be. There are actually a considerable number of scenes that are trying to be serious and dramatic, but they're way to funny. This movie is a comedy all the way through.

Plot - This movie probably shouldn't be rated PG. There's a lot of adult themes in this movie that could've been explored if they weren't trying to market this towards children. That being said, the plot is a bit simplistic for a lot of adults to enjoy. There are actually a lot of concepts in this movie that are actually pretty interesting. If this movie was remade with an R rating and a better script, I'd probably go see this. This movie isn't as bas as some people make it out to be, but that's not to say that it doesn't have potential.

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